Language Support in Maponics International Neighborhood Boundaries

on November 3, 2014 at 2:33PM

language support for international neighborhoodsMany of us take for granted the awesome powers of the search engine. When we type in a question, look up a product, or search for a place to stay, we don’t think about the multitude of data points the application draws on to return relevant results in the blink of an eye.

Take place-names. If you type “accountant near me” into the Google search bar, you’ll get results tied to your neighborhood, city, and county. Those place-names will be in English and will likely all be familiar – or at least, not confusing. You’ll be able to use that information to find an accountant’s office.

English or Not for Place-Names in Foreign Countries?

But what if you’re searching in a foreign country where English isn’t the dominant language? The map that often accompanies your search result could contain place-names in English or in the native tongue – or even a “Romanized” version of the native place-name (i.e., a transliteration of the native name into the Roman alphabet).

For example, say you’re planning a trip to Prague and want to scope out a few vegetarian restaurants. If you type “vegetarian restaurant in Prague” into Google, you’ll get several results pinpointed on a Google map.

language support for international neighborhood boundaries


To support a worldwide base of users, search engines need to associate a geography with the many forms of its place-names. In this map, Google uses the English name for the map display, regardless of whether the search was for restaurants in “Prague” (the English version) or “Praha” (the native Czech version). Search Engines set language type displays based on user location and the user’s language settings.

English, Roman, and Native Versions of Global Place-Names

Here are a few examples of the various ways search engines and social media platforms might represent cities overseas:

Beijing (Romanized form) OR 北京 (native Mandarin script)

Rome (English form) OR Roma (native script, which happens to be in Romanized form)

Moscow (English form), Moscova (Romanized form), OR Москва (native Cyrillic script)

As a data provider for search engines, social media, mobile marketing, and other applications, Maponics pays close attention to which language format will represent place-names. Our global customers rely on us to provide the most pertinent and useful data we can about international neighborhoods, including the various ways end users refer to them.

To do this, our data acquisitions team researches extensively to find the most authoritative source of a native neighborhood name, typically from an official municipal organization. Once we’ve found the appropriate resources and maps, we capture a primary neighborhood name by using Unicode-based input tools and place the native script of the neighborhood in a GIS database.

When we encounter languages that do not use Roman characters – for example, Mandarin, Arabic, Japanese, or Korean – we use transliteration techniques to provide a Romanized label of the neighborhood name. We have transliterated neighborhood labels from over fifty languages worldwide.

Upcoming Enhancements to Maponics International Neighborhood Boundaries

In the first quarter of 2015, we will be incorporating increased language support in the release of International Neighborhoods in the 2.0 data structure, including providing the English label for international neighborhood names. Here’s an example of what the Maponics Names Table – part of the user documentation – will include for this dataset.

Field Description
lid Language Code – ISO 639-3 Abbreviation (ex. DEU, NLD)
nametype (P)rimary, (A)lternate, (F)ormal, (O)ther
name_e Name – English Form (ex. Olympic Park)
name_n Name – Native Form (ex. 오륜동)
name_r Name – Romanized Form (ex. Oryun-dong)

Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries covers hundreds of cities across North America, Europe, Asia, South America, the Middle East, and Africa. Contact us to learn more about our international neighborhood boundary data.

Maponics’ Geofences Drive Mobile Engagement in Europe

on September 18, 2014 at 5:10PM

geofences in EuropeAs they flock to football matches, Coldplay concerts, and Formula One grands prix, Europeans are bringing along more than just their signature enthusiasm. These days, they’re toting mobile devices, too.

According to we are social, consumers from London to Athens have embraced the use of smartphones and tablets:

  • Europe has 17.2% of the global market share of mobile users, with 78% of Europe’s total population using mobile technology
  • 26% of Europe’s total population accesses social media on their mobile device

What does this mean for mobile app developers, mobile marketers, and social media platforms? Quite simply: there is a rich opportunity for engagement with European consumers through mobile devices.

And where such opportunity exists, so does the need for location data.

Maponics Destination & Venue Boundaries in Europe

Maponics Destination & Venue boundaries, which are part of the Social Places™ dataset, are ready-to-map geofences that include over 5,000 sports stadiums, arenas, golf courses, airports, casinos, and more across the US, Canada, and Europe.

The geofences in Maponics Social Places are predefined rather than point and radius – which means they define the entire venue, including parking lots and feeder roads, and omit unrelated parking lots, roads, and businesses. With Maponics’ geofences, mobile marketers can target consumers who are ready and willing to take advantage of special offers.

With such a high population of mobile users, the Old Country is fertile ground for location-based marketing, advertising, and social media.

Unique Product Features

Local Languages

With the array of languages spoken in Europe, we needed to be careful about the native names for stadiums and arenas. For many stadiums, we included up to four versions of the venue name in the dataset.

geofences in EuropeHigh-Speed Rail

Given its prevalence in Europe, all train stations served by high-speed rail are captured in this dataset.

Formula One

Maponics Destination & Venue boundaries also include the biggest F1 circuits throughout the EU.

Learn More About Maponics Social Places

Our Destination & Venue geofences cover fifteen countries in Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

To learn how Maponics Social Places can help your business engage with European consumers, contact us.